Sometimes it's a call, sometimes it's an email, sometimes it's a text - do you know anyone at [take your pick of large, wildly profitable, multinational tech companies] who can be persuaded to care about [choose an issue of the moment] affecting [select from various vulnerable communities].
This time it was in aid of refugees; sometimes it's for trans kids; I expect given, you know, everything there'll be calls to support abortion access.
I understand the instinct. We live in a time of crisis, and we've been raised (for some version of we) to equate power and privilege with ability. We've long believed (for some version of we) that appeals to benevolent self awareness can work (for some value of work).
I also know that many of these calls, many of these appeals come from people who in other parts of their lives use their networks, use these connections, to secure that internship for a ~talented young person~ whose parents are friends, to guarantee that the ~amazingly impressive fellow member of that non-profit board with the annual celebrity-studded gala~ gets a call back for an interview. Those calls typically work. So why wouldn't an appeal to benevolence on behalf of someone with no social capital at all?
Very large places have very large resources and diffuse incentive structures that are rarely immediately aligned with "stopping the spread of vaccine misinformation" or "helping refugees get access to shelter and transit" or "standing up for the rights of vulnerable people beyond issuing annual diversity reports in which you celebrate a statistically insignificant decline in the attrition rate of Black women in senior management".
You cannot understand a place without understanding its middle managers.
Sometimes the organizations that are actually doing the work, that are successfully intervening to register people to vote or to get vaccinated or that are making a meaningful difference for and to the lives of people in crisis and on the margins, sometimes those organizations don't have massive marketing budgets and the best websites. Sometimes their websites are in languages we don't speak because they are designed for the people they are trying to help.
Sometimes knowing who those organizations are requires showing up in our neighbourhoods in spaces that confront us with facts that make us uncomfortable about what we are complicit in, and treating people who don't throw dinner parties for CEOs as if they are worth listening to.
How we show up in spaces where no one knows we are is who we really are.
If you knew a mother, any mother, you would care
for mothers, yes? No.
What it is to be lonesome for stacked papers
on a desk, under glass globe,
brass vase with standing pencils,
— from Business by Naomi Shihab Nye